How to Make Vegetarian Cheese

Written by g.k. bayne
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Vegetarian cheese is not simply cheese made without the use of rennet, which is an animal product. For non-lacto vegetarians or vegans, the use of any animal product, including dairy, is prohibited. You can purchase a wide variety of vegan cheeses at a health or natural food store. However, there are a number of delicious vegan cheeses you can make simply at home. The cheeses you make at home will not only taste fresher, but also save you money.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 349gr extra firm silken tofu
  • Clean kitchen towel
  • Food processor
  • Rubber spatula
  • 3 1/2 tbsp cashew butter
  • 4 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Mixing bowl
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Medium saucepan
  • 5 tbsp agar flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • Cooking oil
  • 3-cup plastic bowl or tub

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Instructions

    Vegan Crème Cheese

  1. 1

    Wrap the block of silken tofu in a clean kitchen towel. Twist the ends of the towel to compress the tofu and remove any excess moisture.

  2. 2

    Place the squeezed tofu in the bowl of your food processor.

  3. 3

    Add the cashew butter, 4 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt.

  4. 4

    Process on high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

  5. 5

    Use immediately or refrigerate until needed. Refrigeration will firm the cheese to a thicker consistency.

    Simple Cheddar Substitute

  1. 1

    Combine the chopped cashews, nutritional yeast, onion powder, 1 tsp salt and garlic powder in a mixing bowl.

  2. 2

    Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 5 tbsp agar flakes to the boiling water. Stir and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until thick.

  3. 3

    Transfer the agar mixture to a blender. Turn the blender on high and add the dry ingredients from the mixing bowl.

  4. 4

    Add the tomato paste, tahini and 3 tbsp lemon juice and mix to thoroughly blend.

  5. 5

    Oil the inside of a 3-cup plastic bowl or tub. Pour the mixture in the tub and refrigerate for at least three hours or until the cheese hardens.

  6. 6

    Remove the cheese from the tub by inverting the tub onto a plate or saucer and serve. Wrap in cling film to store in the refrigerator.

Tips and warnings

  • Nutritional yeast flakes can be easily substituted for Parmesan, Romano or other grated cheeses that are sprinkled on foods.

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